Kinetic Knights FIRST® Team 781

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About Us

2012 Team Photo of FIRST Team 781, the Kinetic Knights

Team 781, the Kinetic Knights is a FIRST® Robotics Competition (FRC®) team run by students from Kincardine, Ontario. The team was formed during the 2001-2002 season with generous help from Bruce Power and Power Workers' Union Training Inc.

Mission Statement

The goal of the Kinetic Knights, like the mission of FIRST, is not to create award winning robots but like our motto says, “set your potential in motion.” The FRC program allows students to apply their skills that they learn in the classroom while sparking an interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM).

Who We Are and What We Do

2012 Kinetic Knight's Lead StudentsTeam 781 is an after school extra-curricular activity open to any student attending Kincardine District Secondary School. In the past, the size of our team has been relatively small with about 15-20 students but because of increased recruiting efforts as well as new fundraising ideas we put in place in 2010, are team size has more then double to 40 students for the last two years.

The main part of a robotics team is to build a robot and compete with it, however we promote ourselves as a team that anyone with any skill sets can be apart of. Our team is split into two sections, admin and build. Within each section we have different branches, each lead by a different student nominated by the team.

On the first Saturday in January, the Kinetic Knights converge to the Bruce Power Visitor Centre for Kickoff. There we all gather to watch the live stream FIRST put outs, which is also being watched by every other FRC team around the world. The Kickoff marks the first day of Build Season because we learn though the live stream what the game challenge is for that year. After that, we spend countless hours after school for six weeks designing, building, and programming our robot. After the six weeks are up, we are no longer allowed to touch our robot until our first regional.

While some of the students are busy working on the robot, other students are working tirelessly on the organizational side of our team. We have students working on fundraising, planning community events, organizing hotels and bussing, writing essays for Awards, and working on this website. Without these students working behind the scenes our team would not be able to run as smoothly as it does.

History

The Kinetic Knights were founded in December 2001 when a letter was given to past Bruce Power mentor Bev Fry who then called KDSS and asked if the school would be interested in having a robotics team. Since then our team has expanded throughout our school and community, while sparking interest in the fields of science and technology.

In 2005, the team became mentors for the local FIRST LEGO League (FLL®) teams. We went to elementary schools within a 20KM radius to assist children of ages 9 to 14 with various jobs like building, designing, and programming their robots built out of LEGO bricks. Many of those elementary students who participated in FLL later became members of FIRST® Team 781.
In 2010-2011 season however, the FLL program in Kincardine began to decline do to a lack of volunteers and mentors. This season, restarting FLL became a goal for our team. We organized presentation to attend the local elementary school and we held a parents night, explaining to the parents all the benefits their children would get out of this program and it was a great opportunity for them to help out as well. After countless hours of organization, we were able accomplish our goal by restarting two teams and already have plans for more next season.

Every since our inception, the Kinetic Knights have been very grateful to the community of Kincardine for supporting for the past eleven years that we only find it right to give back in every possible way we can. The team worked as volunteers for the Terry Fox Run, cleaned garbage along Highway 21, planted trees as part of Bruce Power’s Living Tree Fence project, sung Christmas Carols to seniors and appeared at different sponsor’s events such as The Lake Huron Learning Centre’s Open House and the Bruce Power Beach Party.

Achievements

FIRST Team 781 at the 2011 World ChampionshipWith hard work comes rewards. Over the years, the Kinetic Knights have accomplished many of their goals. One of Team 781's proudest achievements was winning the first ever Canadian Regional in 2002 and continuing on to the Championship Event held in Florida.

It took the team ten years, but in 2011 the Kinetic Knights won their second regional (Greater Toronto West). We advanced on to the World Championships again, this time held in St. Louis, Missouri. We were placed in the Archimedes Division and won with the help of our alliance: Team 2016, Mighty Monkey Wrenches and Team 177, Bobcat Robotics. Continuing on to the Einstein field was a big deal for the team, and it was a major achievement on its own. After a few triumphs and a few losses, the Kinetic Knights walked away from our second appearance at the World Championships with the title of Second in the World.

A year later, in 2012, the Kinetic Knights once again proved there was something special happening in the little town of Kincardine. Along with team member Janelle Taylor winning the Dean's List Finalist award in Waterloo, the Knights went from being the "underdog" alliance all the way to become the winners at the inaugural Queen City Regional in Cincinnati, Ohio. At championship, Team 781 landed itself in the 4th seeded position out of 100 teams in the Archimedes division, the highest our team has ever at the World Championships.

Goals

The Kinetic Knights are hoping to attain another regional win. We also hope that we can reboot and sustain the FLL program in Kincardine and possibly spread the FRC program to other high schools in our school board.


The Community

The Kinetic Knights are from a small, rural town named Kincardine along Highway 21 in Southwestern Ontario. On the shore of Lake Huron, this community is the home to nearly 7,000 people. The main high school in the area is Kincardine and District Secondary School and the Kinetic Knights are from this school. Students within a 15km radius of Kincardine attend the school.

The Municipality of Kincardine covers a larger area, including other small towns and villages in the nearby area such as Tiverton, Bervie, and Ripley. These towns are of much smaller populations, giving the entire municipality a total of around 12,000 people. Canada's largest Nuclear Power Plant, Bruce Power, is located in the area and this large corporation is also one of the Kinetic Knights' biggest and most important sponsors.

 

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